The Church's Year
ON THE FESTIVAL OF PENTECOST
festival is this?
It is the day
on which the Holy Ghost descended in the form of fiery tongues,
upon the apostles and disciples, who with Mary, the Mother of Jesus,
were assembled in prayer in a house at Jerusalem. (Acts II.)
is this day called Pentecost?
The word "Pentecost"
is taken from the Greek, and signifies fifty. As St. Jerome explains
it, this was the last of the fifty days, commencing with Easter,
which the early Christians celebrated as days of rejoicing at the
resurrection of the Lord.
is this day observed so solemnly?
this day the Holy Ghost, having descended upon the apostles, the
law of grace, of purification from sin, and the sanctification of
mankind, was for the first time announced to the world; because
on this day the apostles, being filled with the Holy Ghost, commenced
the work of purifying and sanctifying mankind, by baptizing three
thousand persons who were converted by the sermon of St. Peter;
and because on this day the Church of Jesus became visible as a
community to the world, and publicly professed her faith in her
did the Holy Ghost descend on the Jewish Pentecost?
their Pentecost the Jews celebrated the anniversary of the giving
of the law on Mount Sinai, and God would show by sending the Holy
Ghost on this days that the Old Law had ceased and the New Law commenced.
God also chose this time, that the Jews who on this day came together
from all countries to Jerusalem to celebrate the Pentecost, might
be witnesses of the miracle, and hear the New Law announced by the
is the baptismal font blessed an the vigil of Pentecost, as on Holy
Holy Ghost is the Author of all sanctity and the Fountain of baptismal
grace, and because in the Acts (i. 5.) the descent of the Holy Ghost
itself is called a baptism.
In the Introit
of the Mass the Church rejoices at the descent of the Holy Ghost
of the Lord hath filled the whole earth, allel.; and that which
containeth all things hath knowledge of the voice, Allel., allel.,
allel. (Wisd. I.7.) Let God arise, and his enemies be scattered:
and let them that hate him, fly before his face. (Ps. 67.) Glory
God, who on this day didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by
the light of the Holy Spirit: grant us in the same spirit to relish
what is right, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Thro'.
in the unity of the same, etc.
(Acts II. I-II.) When the days of Pentecost were accomplished, they
were all together in one place; and suddenly there came a sound
from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole
house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted
tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them:.
and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to
speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them
to speak. Now there were. dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men,
of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the
multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that
every man heard them speak in his own tongue: and they were all
amazed, and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these that speak
Galileans? And how have we heard every man our own tongue wherein
we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants
of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia,
and Pamphilia, Egypt, and the parts of Lybia about Cyrene, and strangers
of Rome, Jews also and Proselytes, Cretes and Arabians: we have
heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.
did the Holy Ghost come upon the apostles in the form of fiery tongues?
of fiery tongues indicated the gift of language imparted to the
apostles by the Holy Ghost, and inflamed their hearts and the hearts
of the faithful with the love of God and their neighbor.
did a mighty wind accompany the descent?
To direct the
attention of the people to the descent of the Holy Ghost, and to
assemble them to hear the sermon of the Apostle Peter.
special effects did the Holy Ghost produce in the apostles?
He freed them
from all doubt and fear; gave them His light for the perfect knowledge
of truth; inflamed their hearts with the most ardent love, and incited
in them the fiery zeal for the propagation of the kingdom of God,
strengthened them to bear all sufferings and persecutions, (Acts
V. 41.) and gave them the gift of speaking in various languages,
and of discerning spirits.
(John XIV. 23-31,) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: If
any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him. He that
loveth me not, keepeth not my words: and the word which you have
heard is not mine, but the Father's, who sent me. These things have
I spoken to you, abiding with you: but the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost,
whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things,
and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said
to you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as
the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled,
nor let it be afraid. You have heard that I said to you, I go away,
and I come unto you. If you loved me, you would indeed be glad,
because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And
now I have ;told you before it came to pass, that when it shall
come to pass you may believe. I will not now speak many things with
you; for the prince of this world cometh, and in me he hath not
anything. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and
as the Father hath givers me commandment, so do I.
is the Holy Ghost expressly called "Holy," since this
attribute is due to each of the divine persons?
is the Author of inward sanctity and of all supernatural gifts and
graces, and therefore to Him is especially ascribed the work of
does the Holy Ghost effect in man?
him that he may know the truths of religion and salvation, and the
beauty of virtue; He moves him to desire, to aim after and to love
these things; He renews his heart by cleansing it from sin, and
imparts to him the supernatural gifts and graces by which he can
become sanctified, and He brings forth in him wonderful fruits of
are the gifts of the Holy Ghost?
the Prophet Isaias they are seven: 1.The gift of wisdom, which enables
us to know God, to esteem spiritual more than temporal advantages,
and to delight only in divine things. 2. The gift of understanding,
by which we know and understand that which our faith proposes to
our belief; children and adults should pray fervently for this gift,
especially before sermons and instructions in the catechism. 3.The
gift of counsel, which gives us the knowledge necessary to direct
ourselves and others when in doubt, a gift particularly necessary
for superiors, for those about choosing their state of life, and
for married people who live unhappily, and do not know how to help
themselves. 4. The gift of fortitude, which strengthens us to endure
and courageously overcome all adversities and persecutions for virtue's
sake. 5. The gift of knowledge, by which we know ourselves, our
duties, and how to discharge them in a manner pleasing to God. 6.
The gift of piety, which induces us to have God in view in all our
actions, and infuses love in our hearts for His service. 7. The
gift of the fear of the Lord, by which we not only fear the just
punishment, but even His displeasure at every sin, more than all
other things in the world.
are the fruits of the Holy Ghost?
As St. Paul
(Gal. V.. 22-23.) enumerates them, they are twelve: 1. Charity.
2. Joy. 3. Peace. 4. Patience. 5. Benignity. 6. Goodness. 7. Longanimity.
8. Mildness. 9. Faith. 10. Modesty. 11. Continency. 12. Chastity.
To obtain these fruits as well as the gifts of the Holy Ghost, we
should daily say the prayer: "Come, O Holy Ghost, etc."
does Christ say: The Father is greater than I?
Christ as God
is in all things equal to His Father, but as Christ was at the same
time Man, the Father was certainly greater than the Man-Christ.
does Christ say: I will not now speak many things with you?
these words a short time before His passion, and by them He wished
to say that the time was near at hand when Satan, by his instruments,
the wicked Jews, would put Him to death, not because Satan had this
power over Him, but because He Himself wished to die in obedience
to the will of His Father.